Our expert says:
Sorry for the delay getting back to you. I'll try to answer the questions one by one.
1. Difficult to know whether your waist issue is related to the recruitment of muscles when you do situps to begin with. I doubt it, actually. I suspect that the answer is more related to doing the cardio and not the fact that you do situps and specific exercises for the muscles of the waist. SO don't worry too much about that, just focus on the cardio, which is likely the answer.
2. That rumour about 20 minutes is compleltely untrue. You won't only burn fat in the first 20 minutes. In fact, it's usually written the other way around and the articles usually tell you that you only start burning fat later on. But both are wrong. You'll burn fat no matter when you exercise, how you exercise. Ideally, you should be aiming for 45 to 60 minutes per day, and a a moderate intensity. And don't worry about what you read on the net - if it's not a credible source, forget it.
3. Again, cardio training, because you can't spot reduce. You can't reduce fat through any specific exercises. You have to aim for whole-body exercise that burns fat. And that means cardio training, not small muscle group exercise. I would focus on cardio training - running, cycling, swimming, taebo classes, spinning, aerobics etc. and make that the focus of your training. The smaller percentage, say 25% of your training, can be specific exercises, for which the gym's circuit session is probably the best place to begin. But focus on cardio, 4 or 5 days a week, for the recommended time.
4. Heel raises are probably best, but the calves are stubborn, you're right. Here, the mix of all the other exercises you do will also help, but if you do a few sets of calf raises 2 or 3 times a week, combined with some cycling, running, you should see some change.
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